Walker signs restrictive abortion bill for Wis., legal challenge filed

July 5, 2013 at 5:47 PM
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MADISON, Wis., July 5 (UPI) -- Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Friday restricting abortion in Wisconsin and abortion rights advocates immediately filed suit challenging its constitutionality.

The law -- signed in a private ceremony and set to take effect Monday -- requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges and would cut the number of clinics providing abortions in the state from four to two, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services filed suit in federal court in Madison, naming state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, Safety and Professional Services Secretary Dave Ross and members of the state Medical Examining Board as defendants, the newspaper said.

The lawsuit argues the new law violates women's reproductive choice rights, violates constitutional due process guarantees, and treats doctors who perform abortions differently than doctors who perform other services. The plaintiffs are asking that enforcement of the law be blocked immediately.

"When women don't have access to safe, legal abortions, there are health consequences and women die," said Teri Huyck, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.

Susan Armacost, legislative director for Wisconsin Right to Life, said her organization is "confident this bill will be held to be constitutional."

The law, like others enacted or proposed in other states, requires women seeking abortions to get ultrasound examinations.

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